Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sights to See: Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach, California

Pacific Marine Mammal Center  20612 Laguna Canyon Rd., (going east, look for the dog park on the south side of road just before), (949) 494-3050.  Daily 10-4.  Free.  See rescued seals, sea lions, and elephant seals being rehabilitated for release in this very small facility.  It is hands-off of these pinnipeds for everyone, even staff, though Sage, because she is an unreleasable orphan sea lion, is treated like a diva with plenty of toys and human interaction.  When I visited in October at the end of the season, only three seals were in residence, but more than 250+ animals are rescued each year so sometimes it can get crowded.  A white egret named Gracie, who is actually a he, lives in an adjacent tree and comes regularly to visit and steal fish. 

Many artists have their studios along the highway leading here, so allow time to stop. 

More things to do in Laguna Beach. 

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More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.  
 
images c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, December 17, 2012

Good Eats: Poquito Mas, Santa Monica, California

Poquito Mas  2025 Wilshire Blvd./21st St., (310) 828-1700.  This popular fast-food spot serves delicious Mexican fare with plenty of vegetarian options.  The chips are not salted, and you need to ask for your portion when you place your order at the counter.  My favorite item is the sopitos, which are small sopes made with a round masa base topped with refried beans and shredded lettuce.  Wet burritos are topped with a special red sauce, and the salsa bar has plenty of choices as well as marinated chilies and carrots. 

Poquito Mas on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Santa Monica

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Great Sleeps & Good Eats: Hotel Fifty, H50 Bistro & Bar, Portland, Oregon

Hotel Fifty  50 SW Morrison St., S of the Morrison Bridge, downtown, (503) 221-0711.  141 rooms; 5 stories.  Restaurant; bar; room service.  Pass for fitness facility.  Dogs ok.  Self-parking $22, valet $27; valet bicycle parking is free.  Situated south of the Morrison Bridge and across the street from the Willamette River, this pleasant boutique hotel is just a few walkable blocks from downtown shopping.  It is one block from the MAX Light Rail tram stop (and just five stops from the convention center) and has easy access to the popular Pearl District.  Guest rooms offer a choice of a king or two double beds made with high-thread-count white cotton sheets.  Each floor has a soda machine and an ice freezer featuring sanitary pre-packed bags of ice.  This is the first hotel in Oregon to have outlets for electric cars to recharge their batteries.  Occupancy runs 98% in summer, when riverside festivals take place just across the street.

H5O Bistro & Bar ((503) 484-1415. B-L-D daily; $$.  Free valet parking for 2 hrs.).  Many diners never get farther than the bar in front, which has a happy hour from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and all day on Sunday, but those who enter the spacious open dining room get a view of the river across the street.  The menu changes regularly, and the lunch menu might include a large wedge butter lettuce salad with pickled beets, bruchetta topped with sardines and sweet peppers, a tangy bowl of smooth tomato-basil soup, or a juicy house burger.  Cocktails, local wines, draft beers, and sakes are available.

H5O bistro & bar on Urbanspoon


More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  
images c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sights to See: Museo Soumaya/Soumaya Art Museum, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico

Museo Soumaya/Soumaya Art Museum  Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Col. Amplicación Granada,. 55/5616-3731.  Daily 10:30-6:30.  Free.  Opened in spring 2011 and owned by Carlos Slim Helu, the world's richest man, this $70 million museum is named after his late wife and is a labor of love for him.  Its sparkling exterior is covered with 16,000 hexagonal aluminum plates that reflect sunlight, while the curved white interior walls and ramps are reminiscent of NYC’s Guggenheim.  Take the elevator to the top floor skylighted sculpture gallery, then stroll the galleries and down the circular ramps back to the entrance .  The collection includes works by sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Salvador Dalí, and paintings by Claude Monet and Diego Rivera.

More things to do in Polanco. 

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More things to do in Mexico.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.    

 
image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, December 10, 2012

Good Eats: Zinc Cafe & Market, Laguna Beach, California

Zinc Cafe & Market  350 Ocean Ave., (949) 494-6302.  Daily 7am-6pm; $$.  No reservations.  Order at the counter of this all-vegetarian cafe, then pick a table in the cozy indoors or outside on the popular patio.  Particular good items include the quiche, the pastries (especially the almond cake and the frosting-topped pecan cookie).  A small adjacent deli purveys take-away food and some gift items.

Zinc Cafe & Market on Urbanspoon

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Things To Do: Crafty Wonderland, Portland, Oregon

Crafty Wonderland  808 SW 10th Ave./SW Yamhill, across from Central Library, (503) 224-9097.  M-Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5.  This creative collection of handmade jewelry, prints, clothing, and more comes from more than 130 local artists and designers.  You’re sure to find just the right gift, or maybe something for yourself. 

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  
image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers